Injury Compensation News
You are entitled to make mental stress claims when you have sustained a quantifiable psychological injury due to stress placed upon you by a third party. The stress could be due to harassment or bullying in the workplace, because you have just seen a traumatic incident which has upset you or due to many other stressful circumstances. Provided that the stress injury you have sustained can be established by a doctor, and that the injury is due to the actions – or inactions – of somebody who owes you a duty of care, you should speak with a solicitor as soon as possible about making mental stress claims for compensation.
Friday, 13 September, 2013
A Canberra woman, who made a claim for compensation for an injury caused by a broken chair at work, has had her claim resolved in court for more than AU$1 million.
Terry Anne Downie was employed as a team leader for the Community Information and Referral Service in the Australian Capital Territory when, in June 2002, she purchased furniture for her office from the ex-government furniture outlet – Fyshwick – including a chair for her own use at work.
In October of the same year, Terry Anne was sitting on the chair while using the telephone when two legs of the chair snapped and she fell to the floor. A co-worker who saw the accident said that she heard a loud crack and then witnessed Terry Anne struggling to get up.
Terry Anne was taken to hospital, where scans revealed that a bulging disc inflamed by the accident was in contact with a nerve root. Doctors were unable to fix the injury and Terry Anne – now 51 years of age – suffers from ongoing pain, mental illness, sexual dysfunction and a permanent sensation, described in court, of ants under the skin of her legs.
In 2005, Terry Anne was paid Au$190,000 in worker´s compensation for an injury caused by a broken chair at work but also made a private claim for personal injury compensation against the chair´s importer – Jantom – claiming that the product was faulty when it was supplied to Fyshwick. Terry Anne´s employers also made a claim against Jantom to recover the amount of worker´s compensation they had paid her.
At the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court, Judge Master David Harper found in favour of Terry Anne and her employer after hearing expert evidence that plastic moulding on the base of the chair had failed in a catastrophic manner when two of five supporting spokes had broken.
The judge said “Terry Anne has many years ahead of pain and depression. Her life is very different to the life she could have expected if it had not been for her injury. Her enjoyment of life, and the kind of life she is able to lead, have been altered immeasurably.”
He awarded her Au$933,030 compensation for an injury caused by a broken chair at work plus a further Au$112,000 in special damages to cover her medical expenses. Terry Anne´s employer was also able to recover the compensation already paid to Terry Anne and the costs of raising the claim for an injury caused by a broken chair at work.
Posted in Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Falling Accident Claims, Mental Stress Claims, Product Liability Claims, Workplace Injury Claims - No Comments »
Monday, 12 August, 2013
Asiana Airlines has offered an initial payment of compensation for a plane crash to the 288 survivors of Flight 214 that crashed on its approach to San Francisco International Airport last month.
Three people died in the crash – two from injuries sustained in the accident and a third who was tragically run over by a fire truck racing to the plane´s assistance – which is suspected to have occurred due to the plane from Seoul approaching too low and clipping a seawall at the perimeter of the airport.
Following the accident 181 passengers were taken to hospital where forty-nine still remain in a serious condition. Due to the number of passengers that sustained major spine injuries, doctors believe several patients could be permanently disabled.
Investigators from the US National Transportation Safety Board are yet to confirm the exact cause of the accident; however Asiana Airlines has already made a preliminary offer of compensation for a plane crash to all the survivors for the emotional trauma they suffered.
The offer of $10,000 is a preliminary amount offered under US law, and – under the Montreal Convention – is not conditional on passengers waiving their right to claiming further compensation for a plane crash.
The final value of future compensation settlements may not be known for many months and will depend on whether the passenger is a citizen of the United States (in which case US levels of plane crash compensation apply) or whether they have to claim compensation for a plane crash from the airline under the Montreal Convention.
Posted in Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Mental Stress Claims, Psychological Injury Claims - No Comments »
Tuesday, 12 March, 2013
A woman, who underwent a symphysiotomy procedure at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in 2000, has been awarded €591,297 compensation for injuries from symphysiotomy by the High Court.
Tracey Nelson (45) from Navan in County Meath underwent the procedure prior to the delivery of her second child, when medical staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda failed to correctly diagnose the symptoms of symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD).
After suffering for many years with the physical discomfort from the symphysiotomy, Tracey underwent surgery in 2004 to stabilise her condition and again, in 2007, had to have a spinal cord stimulator fitted – since when Tracey has been relatively free of pain.
However, as Tracey related to Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill at the High Court, she has also suffered emotionally due to the negligence of the medical staff who failed in their duty of care to manage her pregnancy.
Tracey told the court she had developed fibromyalgia – where she had constant pain in her muscles and joints – and due to the pain, started to drink alcohol heavily. This resulted in the break-up of her marriage and, in turn, to depression.
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital denied their liability for Tracey´s injuries, but Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill ruled that he was satisfied from the medical evidence there was a failure to diagnose SPD on February 2nd when Tracey attended the hospital complaining of pain in the pelvic area.
The judge said there was no doubt that the “primary cause” of Tracey´s physical and psychological injuries was the negligence of the HSE and “terrible consequences” of it. “I am quite satisfied that the failures in this regard fell substantially below the standard of care to be expected of doctors practising obstetrics in a maternity unit such as Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda,” he said.
Awarding Tracey €591,297 in compensation for injuries from symphysiotomy, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill said that he was also satisfied the doctors and midwives who attended Ms Nelson were “oblivious” to her SPD condition and consequently took no precautions to prevent the risk of avoidable injury during the course of her labour.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Delayed Diagnosis, Doctor Negligence Claims, Failure to Diagnose, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims, Mental Stress Claims, Psychological Injury Claims, Surgical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 31 January, 2013
The total of Garda compensation for assault settlements paid in 2012 amounted to €6.7 million according to figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.
The figure brought the total value of Garda compensation for assault settlements since 2000 to over €13.4 million and, among the 121 cases detailed, the most common complaints were soft-tissue injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and back injuries.
All the injuries sustained by Garda officers were as a result of malicious acts of violence and included a Garda who was struck on the head with a bottle, three cases where Gardai had suffered from depression after being threatened with shotguns and six incidents in which Gardai were injured by human bites.
The second highest ever award of Garda compensation for assault was made last year – a Garda receiving just under €790,000 for back injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder following an assault – but less than the €990,000 award made to a Garda who was shot in the knee in 2008.
Earlier this month, an award of €45,000 compensation for Garda injuries was made in the High Court to Garda Bernard McLoughlin, after he sustained injuries to his hip and leg after being involved in a ramming incident in which his friend and colleague was killed.
Commenting on the Garda compensation for assault settlements, John Parker – president of the Garda Representative Association – said “while the injuries contained in the Garda database were at the extreme end of the assaults suffered by Gardai during the course of their duties, they underlined the “high-risk work” of members of the force”.
Last year, the Government approved proposals for a revised Garda compensation scheme which would enable the State Claims Agency to administer the scheme on behalf of the Garda Commissioner. The proposals aim to reduce the length of time injured Gardai have to wait for Garda compensation for assault settlements and it is expected that the revised Garda compensation scheme will save the State about €3 million annually in reduced legal fees and administrative costs.
Posted in Car Passenger Accidents, Mental Stress Claims, Personal Injury Claims, State Claims Agency, Workplace Injury Claims - No Comments »
Saturday, 15 December, 2012
A woman, who child was delivered stillborn due to the necessary blood not being available on an ambulance, has been awarded €170,000 stillborn child compensation in the High Court.
Fiona Ni Chonchubhair (36) from Killarney, County Kerry, was thirty-one weeks pregnant when she attended the Tralee Hospital in May 2009 suffering from internal bleeding. An ambulance was arranged to transfer her to Cork University Hospital – some 71 miles away – but the ambulance was not equipped with blood transfusion equipment.
A further delay of 20 minutes, when the ambulance crew could not locate the accident and emergency unit, led to Fiona losing a substantial amount of blood and despite being immediately operated on and given six units of blood on her arrival at Cork University Hospital, the treatment came too late to save her baby, who was delivered stillborn by Caesarean section.
Fiona and her husband – Stephen Cotter – made a claim for stillborn child compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE) alleging that, had she received a transfusion en route to Cork University Hospital, Fiona would have suffered a less severe level of hypovolaemic shock, which would have provided sufficient oxygen to her child to ensure its survival.
The couple´s claim included compensation for the post-traumatic stress, severe bereavement disorder and adjustment disorder that Fiona had suffered, and also for the cost of renting a home in Cork during a later pregnancy so that Fiona would be closer to the hospital. After an investigation into the stillborn child claim for compensation, the HSE admitted liability and issued and apologised to Fiona and Stephen.
At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Sean Ryan said that the HSE had demonstrated “extraordinary ineptitude” and that it was “scarcely credible” in this day and age an ambulance would be arranged for a patient suffering from internal bleed without someone thinking of having the necessary cross-matched blood for transfusion.
Hearing that the claim for stillborn child compensation was before him for the assessment of damages only, Mr Justice Sean Ryan told Fiona that he could only determine compensation for a stillborn child on the basis of legal principles and not based on his sense of indignation, and awarded the couple €170,000 in stillborn child compensation.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Mental Stress Claims, Psychological Injury Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Friday, 7 December, 2012
A woman, who suffered both physical and emotional injuries due to the negligence of a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, has been awarded €438,000 in compensation for a negligent hysterectomy following a court hearing.
Cynthia Kinsella (52) from Terenure, Dublin, underwent the surgical procedure at Mount Carmel Hospital in April 2008 after developing menorrhagia – a condition which causes heavy menstrual bleeding. Three weeks after her operation she started leaking from the bladder – a condition known as medically as a fistula – which lead to significant distress and loss of amenity.
The surgeon who oversaw the operation – consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr. Gerry Rafferty – also assisted at a second operation in July in an attempt to resolve the problem; where it was discovered that the condition may have been attributable to a misplaced suture in the bladder. After discovering that the probable cause of her injury was her surgeon´s negligence, Cynthia sought legal advice and subsequently made a claim for negligent hysterectomy compensation.
Dr Rafferty denied his liability for Cynthia´s injuries – claiming that her condition was due to a rare complication of the hysterectomy procedure – however, at Dublin´s High Court, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill rejected the surgeon´s argument and found in favour of Cynthia negligent hysterectomy claim for compensation.
In assessing how much Cynthia should receive in compensation for a negligent hysterectomy, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill heard that in November 2008 Cynthia had been made redundant from her senior secretarial position with an engineering firm. Due to a combination of her fistula condition and the severe anxiety disorder she developed as a result of her surgeon´s negligence, Cynthia was unable to find employment elsewhere and has not worked since.
The judge said that he was satisfied that Cynthia´s capacity for work had been affected by her condition and that there was little prospect of her finding employment in the future because of it. Awarding Cynthia €200,000 for past and future pain and suffering, €225,000 for past and future loss of earnings and €13,184 for medical negligence special damages, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill said that had Cynthia not suffered as a result of the hysterectomy operation, he believed she would have in all probability found alternative employment after her redundancy.
Posted in Medical Negligence Claims, Mental Stress Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 31 March, 2011
A Tesco’s security guard, who suffered post traumatic stress after being trapped in a lift at their Dundrum Shopping Centre Store in Dublin, has been awarded 13,500 Euros in a court action against the company.
Judge Joseph Matthews heard in the Circuit Civil Court how William Murphy (27) of Ashford, County Wicklow, had been one of a number of people trapped between floors in a lift for almost an hour in September 2006.
Due to the lack of oxygen, heat and humidity, Mr Murphy had been overcome with fear while awaiting rescue by the fire service, and had subsequently been off from work with a stress related illness for several weeks. Mr Murphy still experiences feelings of panic when in lifts and confined spaces.
In the action brought against Tesco Ireland Ltd and Byrne Lifts Ltd, Millennium Business Park, Dublin, the court heard that once the doors of the lift had closed, the lift dropped suddenly and then jerked to a stop – trapping the group of people inside for between 45 and 60 minutes.
Judge Matthews found in favour of the claimant, stating that he was satisfied that the lift had not been overloaded and that the problem had been caused by over-speeding. He accepted that over-heating in the hydraulic system had triggered an emergency safety cut-out, and that the accident could have been prevented with the implementation of a cooling system.
Posted in Mental Stress Claims, Workplace Injury Claims - No Comments »
Wednesday, 12 January, 2011
Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, heard in the Civil Court how two-year-old Katie Campbell, of Ratoath, County Meath, suffered years of post traumatic stress after a near miss in a toyshop. Katie, now seven, had been visiting the Smyths Toys shop in the Airside Retail Park, Swords, County Dublin, with her father, when a bicycle fell directly in her path from a shelf 14 feet above her head. Although sustaining no injuries, the court heard how subsequent to the event Katie started to suffer nightmares and showing signs of anxiety. The court was then told that Katie had been referred by her GP to a consultant child psychologist, who diagnosed her as having post traumatic stress based on her hypersensitivity to sudden, loud noises and an unwillingness to play with other children. Smyths Toys Ltd had offered the amount of 10,000 Euros as compensation, but as with all settlements for child injury, the award had to be approved in court.
Posted in Children's Injury Claims, Mental Stress Claims - No Comments »
Wednesday, 24 November, 2010
Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, commented that it “must have been a terrifying experience for all concerned” as he approved a compensation payment of 13,000 Euros for nervous shock to Chloe McDonagh of Navan, County Meath.
The settlement was in respect of Chloe witnessing her father being trapped in a funfair bungee ride that went terribly wrong at Blackrock, County Dublin in 2003 when Chloe was just five years of age. As the transparent sphere was launched into the air, one of the supporting elasticated straps snapped, causing the sphere to swing wildly around and buffet Mr McDonagh and a fellow fun-seeker against the inside of their capsule.
Fearing that her father was about to die on the funfair attraction, Chloe, who was watching the event with her mother Jacqueline, became hysterical and collapsed with fright. Both parents and the little girl were treated in hospital for shock after Mr McDonagh had been rescued by emergency services, but Chloe continued to have nightmares for a further year.
The offer of compensation had been made by Manchester company Funpark Nederlands and, as with all child injury compensation settlements, had to be approved in court. Chloe, who is now twelve years of age, was represented by her mother in the action and has now fully recovered from her ordeal.
Posted in Mental Stress Claims - No Comments »
Friday, 20 August, 2010
Denise Blatt has won her discrimination case against the Comfort Inn Parnell Square hotel owned by Palmece Ltd where she was a general manager prior to being selected for redundancy. It was alleged in court that the Ms Blatt was treated less favourably during two pregnanacies over a period of a year and eight months and then was selected for redundancy because she was pregnant. It was claimed Blatt was awarded pay rises and bonuses prior to informing her company that she was pregnant, after which she received a formal letter pointing out flaws in her work. Ms Blatt developed high blood pressure during her pregnancy and blamed her work environment.
Palmece Ltd was not represented in court and the evidence was not contested.
Ms Blatt was awarded €50,000 in compensation for discrimination and €50,000 in compensation for victimisation.
Posted in Compensation Claims, Mental Stress Claims - No Comments »